Songs for Advent: O Holy Night (Brian McSweeney)

When I first heard this song I was hooked! In my opinion there is possibly no greater singer than Brian McSweeney, and the way he can make his voice soar is just amazing!

O Holy Night
Oh holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
,Let all within us praise His holy name

Songs for Advent: Deliver Us (Behold the Lamb of God)

One of my favorite Christmas records of all time is Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God. If you are unfamiliar with both this record and Andrew Peterson, I would highly suggest that you fix that immediately! Andrew is a fabulous songwriter and storyteller. His music is constantly playing in our house and car.

Behold the Lamb of God is the story of Jesus set to music, and for me, Deliver Us is song that resonates the most. Sung by another one of my favorite musicians, Derek Webb’s Deliver us tells the story of God’s people in slavery; not a slavery in Egypt from which we need a deliver to come and take us to a promised land. Rather, we cry out for a deliverer from our sin and rebellion.

If you listen to Deliver Us, you may pick up on some similar themes and motifs that are also part of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Deliver Us
Our enemy, our captor is no pharaoh on the Nile
Our toil is neither mud nor brick nor sand
Our ankles bear no calluses from chains, yet Lord, we’re bound
Imprisoned here, we dwell in our own land

Deliver us, deliver us Oh Yahweh, hear our cry
And gather us beneath your wings tonight

Our sins they are more numerous than all the lambs we slay
These shackles they were made with our own hands
Our toil is our atonement and our freedom yours to give
So Yahweh, break your silence if you can

Deliver us, deliver us Oh Yahweh, hear our cry
And gather us beneath your wings tonight

Jerusalem, Jerusalem
How often I have longed
To gather you beneath my gentle wings’